...to have lived during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Sorry, folks, if you don't like or understand him, but he was a great leader. He stood firm on the things that were most important, played a strategic role in the winning of the Cold War, and had an endearing sense of humor.
...to have come into the Catholic Church shortly after Pope John Paul II became the supreme pontiff. He was a faithful shepherd and father of the church, an extraordinarily brilliant man, and a magnet for youth and zeal. His tete-a-tete with his would-be assassin touched the world, and his wily handling of the Communist powers in his native Poland was astounding. He truly was a superstar.
...to have witnessed the magnanimous love of Mother Theresa. Her simplicity, directness, and boldness made her unstoppable. She knew what she was called to do and simply obeyed. She didn't flinch from the dirty, the contaminated, or the repulsive jobs in front of her, and to look in her face was to know what saints are made of.
...to live in Ann Arbor since the early seventies where the Holy Spirit has moved a people in amazing ways. The world leaders like Reagan, John Paul, and Mother Theresa inspire billions. I have known people who have brought Christ to perhaps only thousands, hundreds, or tens. But they are faithful, single-hearted, and in love with God. Our parish is exceptional, because the Holy Spirit is doing some exceptional. We should never forget who is in charge there, and be humbled that we can witness it, participate in it, and move the kingdom forward.